Vikings draft preview: Offensive linemen

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 16, 2013 - 8:26 AM

Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel is expected to go No. 1 overall to Kansas City.

The hot topic: A right time for left tackles?

The Chargers have the 11th pick and a need at left tackle in a draft that has three elite players at that particular position.

No problem, right? Well, not exactly. The Chargers actually might have to trade up to get one of them in the draft's first round on April 25.

Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel is expected to go No. 1 overall to Kansas City. If the Lions use the fifth pick on Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher rather than Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, the Cardinals most likely would complete the run on available franchise left tackles by taking Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson at No. 7.

That’s not to say the rest of the first round won’t produce its share of future offensive line starters. Strength at right tackle and guard could stretch the total number of first-round offensive linemen to seven or eight.

National champion Alabama will have two offensive linemen taken in the first round. D.J. Fluker, a 6-5, 339-pound right tackle, could go No. 12 to Miami, which will move right tackle Jonathan Martin to left tackle to replace the departed Jake Long. Meanwhile, Alabama’s Chance Warmack, a dominant run-blocking guard, might go earlier than No. 12. Tennessee, which still is looking to beef up the interior of its line, could take Warmack at No. 10. North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper also is an option if he’s still available.

THE FRONT-RUNNER

Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M

Joeckel is similar in size (6-6, 306), agility, foot speed and character to Matt Kalil, the fourth overall pick of the Vikings a year ago. But in a draft that’s virtually devoid of quarterbacks, Joeckel rockets to the top of the pile. Like Kalil coming out of Southern California, Joeckel isn’t known for his run blocking. Then again, which left tackle ever is? Joeckel is a willing run blocker and will get better as he improves his strength to the NFL level.

THE CONTENDERS

Eric Fisher, Central Michigan

ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said Joeckel, Fisher and Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson are so tightly bunched that it’s “splitting hairs” to pick the best one. Fisher (6-7, 306) should end up protecting either Detroit’s Matthew Stafford or Arizona’s Carson Palmer.

D.J. Fluker, Alabama

His full name is Danny Lee Jesus Fluker. And he’s without a doubt a right tackle. At 6-5, 339 pounds — 61 fewer than he tipped the scales at as an eighth-grader — he’s a run-blocking mauler.

Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

Power, athleticism and foot speed supposedly make up for Cooper being on the shorter side (6-2). A four-year starter at left guard, Cooper could go No. 8 to Buffalo, which lost Andy Levitre via free agency.

THE SLEEPER

Luke Marquardt, Azusa Pacific

  • related content

  • Vikings understood value of keeping Loadholt

    Tuesday April 16, 2013

    Why re-signing the right tackle was a top priority and what's next in the development of guard Brandon Fusco.

  • Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel might be the No. 1 overall draft pick when the Kansas City Chiefs make their selection.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close